Music for Pain Management

Sync Project
Oct 27, 2016 · 5 min read

As stakeholders in US government and medical care decry an opioid abuse epidemic, music is emerging as a safe, non-habit forming option for pain management

A recently published study sought to find out. It employed an innovative way of delivering music as a means for treatment of chronic pain in hospital settings. In the study, 53 patients with a wide variety of conditions such as neuropathic pain, migraine or rheumatic pain were given access to a smartphone app that delivered a standardized 20-minute music session. The patients could select what type of music they wished to listen to (jazz, classical, rock etc), but the structure of the music session was specifically designed to promote relaxation through gradual reduction of for instance tempo and volume. Towards the end of the 20-minute session, the music picked up again into a more invigorating form.

Why would music listening decrease pain? What could explain why music appears to be less effective for professional musicians?

There is ample evidence that relaxing music (with slow tempo and volume) can induce a relaxation response characterized by a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, and other physiological indicators. This relaxation may alleviate anxiety and thereby the feeling of pain, coaxing the body to a state that is is finding hard to attain on its own.

Could being a musician make it harder to access the therapeutic benefits of music?

Written by Sync Project Co-Founder, CEO Marko Ahtisaari & Co-Founder, Head of Science Ketki Karanam.

References

1. Koch, M. E., Kain, Z. N., Ayoub, C., & Rosenbaum, S. H. (1998). The sedative and analgesic sparing effect of music. The Journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists, 89(2), 300–306. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00000542-199808000-00005


Sync Project on Medιum

Developing music technology for health & wellness.

Sync Project

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Developing Music Technology for Health & Wellness. http://syncproject.co

Sync Project on Medιum

Developing music technology for health & wellness.